Cutting and Pasting

The only time I’ve ever been good at cutting and pasting has been on the computer. Yep. I can cut and paste just fine with my mouse and keyboard. But when it comes to anything involving arts or crafts, cutting and pasting has always been a problem. I don’t do well with scissors, and when it comes to glue, paste, or other adhesives, I’m quite messy. I usually end up getting everything stuck together except for what I’m trying to glue!

On Monday morning, however, I undertook a cut and paste project, and I’m pleased with it. It was my first day “back in the studio” after the Christmas holidays. It was also my husband’s first day “back in the studio”. He was there to work on an electrical project, and having him in the studio meant not only conversations, noise from the work he was doing, but also having both the television and a radio on. I love him to pieces, but I’ve never understood why he turns things on and never turns them off again. It’s just one of his little quirks.

Although we’re quite compatible in most respects, the noise level is one place where we’re at opposite ends of the spectrum. I want peace and quiet — absolute silence as much as possible. Especially in the studio. Occasionally I’ll listen to a bit of classical music or “nature sounds”, but always at a very, very low volume.

Coming back to art after a break always requires a bit of “easing in” time for me. I’ve puttered around a bit, re-arranging art supplies, labeling boxes, and putting the studio back into order, but yesterday I wanted to get back into the creative process. With all the distractions, I chose something simple. Circles. Yet for me, it was a bit challenging because it involved cutting and pasting.

This is part of my “Going in Circles” sketchbook project. Filling an entire sketchbook with circles is proving to be great fun. It’s a relaxing, enjoyable way to “warm up” each day.  I already had an idea in my head when I came down to the studio. Some time ago, after I’d done a watercolor, I didn’t want to toss out the leftover paints in my palette. So, using different brushes, I splattered the colors — red, yellow, and blue — onto a sheet of copy paper.

My plan for my “circle” project was to cut out a variety of circles from that splattered sheet, using a stencil to keep them neat and precise. Well, as precise as I could make them. I knew they’d be imperfect, but I resolved to just do my best.

When I gathered up my supplies, I found another sheet of blue. I’m not sure where it came from. It’s a very light-weight card stock, and it must have been part of some packaging. I’d saved it, and I’m so glad I did. It was exactly the right color to go along with my splattered circles.

So, patiently, I used my stencil to draw and cut circles from both my blue card stock and the splattered paper. I thought again about design principles as I laid the circles out on a page in my sketchbook. I’d look at the design I was creating, decide what I needed next, and cut another circle.

Once I had my circles laid out, I was happy. I liked the arrangement. But then, having successfully gotten through the cutting phase, I still had to deal with pasting. Wisely, I grabbed my phone and took a photograph of the page. I then used that as a roadmap to put the pieces in place. My first attempt was with Elmer’s Glue, but that wasn’t working, so I grabbed “Yes Paste.”

This stuff is awesome! I was introduced to it through Let’s Make Art, when I subscribed to one of their monthly art boxes. Once I’d tried it, I wanted more. If you’re into art journaling or do other projects that require pasting, you’ll definitely want to try “Yes Paste”.

Of course, I still managed to make a bit of a mess, but overall, the project was a success.

Part of the fun of my “Going in Circles” sketchbook project is seeing how many different ideas I can come up with using circles. The pages are colorful. The circles are different sizes and different arrangements. Each one, in its own way, symbolizes something.

What does this one say? To me, it says to enjoy life, appreciate the colors of the world, and don’t worry about things that aren’t quite perfect. Nothing in life is ever perfect, and yet life goes on… around and around and around.

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